STAR High School Writing Contest on the subject of inclusion, diversity and difference.

January 23, 2010 at 6:38 pm 3 comments

Here is the first place entry for your reading pleasure. We will be posting the second place winner next month, and honorable mentions in the months to come, so stay tuned!

First Place Winner: Seth Anderson, Junior, Patrick Henry High School

The Village by the Hill

It was a curious sight, to say the least.

            Beneath a sky verging on perfect, lay a lush grassy knoll, which would fit the same description. Resting on its crest stood a behemoth, a mammoth creature so vast that its figure alone covered nearly all the landscape below it in shadow. 

            In the darkness beneath the hill, the faint outlines of cottages could be seen just penetrating the powerful presence. From these scant forms arose others, tinier still, that clambered out to see what caused their sudden lapse in vision. As they took sight of the mysterious creature approaching, the sound of screams began to fill the clear blue skies.

            The thing loomed closer, and as it did, the miniature residents of the darkened cottages observed that it shared many qualities similar to them. It had two arms, as well as two legs, and wore garments in the same tradition that they did. In fact, its facial features were practically identical to those of every man and woman in its presence: ears, eyes, mouth, and a nose. Its hand was clenched shut, as if holding something of immense value, and sealed so tightly it would seem no force could wrench it open.

            But alas, its size! It must have been eighty, if not ninety times the size of the largest villager! In fact, it was so gargantuan, that in one step, it shook the entire village, (not to mention the hill which it lay beneath) to its core. For the first time in many a peaceful year, the village looked not into the face of a man, but the harbinger of its demise.

            Commands could be heard flying on the wings of the wind in the proximity of the small town. As soon as these were uttered, action followed suit. A handful of small, darkened beings broke free of the boundaries of shadow and entered once again into the realm of light. They carried with them strange instruments of destruction, powerful enough to kill one of their own within but a second.

            Cracks erupted in a cacophony of sound, rendering all other noises incomprehensible. The massive being showed signs of alarm, as it felt small drops sprinkle over its skin as if it was in the center of a great tempest. Confused and disoriented, the creature laid itself on the ground, closing the great glass domes of its eyes.

            The crackling sound was replaced with one of a far greater magnitude, that of the behemoth comforting itself. Its murmurs shattered the windows of the houses nearby, and caused many to grasp their heads to prevent the ringing that now took hold. After what may have spanned minutes or years, the scene lay silent, not a person remained standing.

            For perhaps centuries, the village by the hill lay covered in shadow, its memory fading with the ebb and flow of generations. The world surrounding it advanced and digressed, froze and melted, and continued its cycles with no concern as to the happenings of the hill. The virgin patch of land may as well have never existed.

            On a day as eventful as any other (which is to say not at all), the sun rose into the satin sky above the forgotten place, having little to no worry of any cloud intercepting its great trajectory. All lay silent as the air brightened, the grass danced with the wind, and the people remained sleeping. The wind lapped over their faces, caressing their still bodies with the carpeting comfort they had been accustomed to for so many ages.

            It was without warning that the wind began to increase its force, evolving from a simple breeze to a complex series of gusts and billows. As the power increased, a direction became clear: a funnel was forming over the gaping mouth of the mammoth creature.

            It was a reckoning force, one that devastated many of the cottages in the village. Almost every roof was thrown into the air, as if weighing less that a feather. Doors were wrenched off the hinges, while trees were uprooted from the ground they had claimed for their own.

            The precious debris circled indefinitely above the behemoth, slowly lowering into the abyss that was its mouth. The objects finally entered with no struggle, surrendering what would be their final battle to the insides of the mysterious being. The gale stopped: all was again calm.

            Or so it seemed. Only seconds later, a noise so great, so impossibly powerful erupted across the landscape, reminiscing to that one that had happened so many years before. It had been a yawn for the ages. The massive creature twitched, and then, for the first time in eons, stood.

            Chaos erupted. Moments after this awakening, the tiny figures began to rise as well. It took many minutes, even hours for them to grasp their strange surroundings. As dreaded realization set in, panic could be felt collectively across every waking one. Their home had been destroyed.

            Torment, rage, and fear were among the tamer notes of the screams that lit up the already bright sky. Their effects were widespread, as the wind began to gust in response, and the grass danced a primal, violent tango. Amidst all the horrific chaos, the only still object was the behemoth.

            One by one, the crazed denizens of the village turned to focus their stares on the giant. Whether man, woman, or child, hatred burned with the intensity of a thousand flames in their eyes. (It should here be noted that such heightened states of emotion can instigate an inhuman power in those of which it possesses, as this is an explanation for the events that follow).

            Before the beast could utter a sound, waves of villagers began to climb its vast expanse, viciously tearing off chunks of flesh as they rose. They conquered the massive pillars of legs with ease, leaving behind nothing but bone. As they approached the mountain that was its torso, the demon did nothing but stare at them with a blank expression.

            This violent conquest continued, resulting in events so gruesome that they should not be written in this language, for fear of tarnishing it. Let it only be known that this mysterious and enormous creature met a horribly slow and excruciating end, and put up no sign of a struggle.

            By the time the bloodthirsty monsters reached the head of the giant, they were slowed by oceans of tears that washed them away. This could not stop them however, and within hours, the beast was dead. Finished.

            As the rapturous creatures celebrated their victory, they began uttering primeval growls, reveling in the rain of blood and flesh that ensued. Perhaps it was only the wind that could observe a tiny object fall out of what was left of the majestic creature’s hand. As it blew away from the demonic processions below, it was sprinkled with the mist of a tear. The olive branch would never see its carrier again.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Wine, Wonder, Slavery & Art Join us for OPEN DOORS II: Awaking the Sleeping Giant

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Janis Wright  |  January 23, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    What expression! Very talented indeed.

    Reply
  • 2. Frank House  |  January 30, 2010 at 2:30 am

    The kind of story that keeps you reading…the beginning description of the massive beast is interesting with deliberate,common human qualities described….drawing the reader in to consider this beast not so bad…much like ourselves except for size. Such is the dilema today…many not seeing,grasping,accepting,or ideally- celebrating our commonalities with each other. They are not paying attention,they are fearful and do not see the innocent details. Thanks Seth !

    Reply
  • 3. Donna Dilley  |  January 31, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Seth, this is a beautiful story.

    Your writing is exquisite…Keep up the great work .

    Donna Dilley

    Reply

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MAY - Local Colors... JUNE - Juneteenth... JULY - On The Edge (Floyd, VA)... AUG - Steppin' Out (Blacksburg, VA)... SEPT - Henry Street Festival, Pride Parade... OCT - Bridgewalk, Latino Festival... NOV -Open Doors Series.... DEC - Taubman Museum/Wine and Wonder... JAN - Writer's Series... FEB - Harrison Museum - Black History Month... MAR -Interfaith Event... APR/MAY - Down by Downtown STAR Festival

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